11 Mar '11, 10pm

Oil prices drop after record Japan quake

NEW YORK - Crude oil prices slumped Friday after a record earthquake slammed Japan, the world's third-largest economy, raising fears of a shock to the global economic recovery. Traders eyed lower consumption in Japan, the world's third-largest oil importer and consumer, after a week of worrying about prices jumping due to Middle East instability. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, closed $1.54 lower at $101.16 a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for April settled at $113.84, down $1.59. Financial markets were shaken after the powerful 8.9-magnitude earthquake -- the seventh biggest in history -- hit Japan Friday, unleashing a tsunami that battered Japan's northeast coast and stretched across the Pacific. "The demand for oil (in Japan) could be lower, at least temporarily, because of the earthquake," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Frits...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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